Friday, June 24, 2011

Bret Easton Ellis' "Imperial Bedrooms" (Steak Knives)

My first introduction to Ellis was the film version of Less Than Zero, way back as a (comparatively naive) kid in the late 80's.  I didn't make it to his books until a few years ago, and not to Less Than Zero until recently.

Ellis' Imperial Bedrooms opens with the line 'They made a movie about us' and launches in to the lives of the same characters after 20 additional years of (one imagines) depravity and post-modern malaise.

While it starts out reading like a 'where are they now' effort, it evolves into Raymond Chanldler-esque noir, for the most part.  This makes for a positive development that raises it from formulaic and automatic to a decent set of 'steak knives.'  Still, just 'steak knives'...  

The closing chapters of the book confuse and frustrate the (this?) reader as the plot darkens.  It's not the darkening that confuses things.  Ellis seems to lose control of his several threads.  Things seem too disjointed.  While a similar (I think) ambiguity surrounds the close of Imperial Bedrooms and Ellis' earlier masterwork, American Psycho, it just falls flat this time around.

'Disappear Here.'
I do like Ellis, and picked this up following his recent addition to my Twitter feed.  He's produced some other interesting reading lately - on Charlie Sheen and Post-Empire, which I'll point you to here...

This leaves two Ellis novels I've yet to read.  I hear mixed things about Glamorama, but it's likely next on my checklist for this author.

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